O’Connor Lab Group for Interdisciplinary Health Research



Daniel P. O'Connor, PhD

University of Houston

3855 Holman St, GAR 104

Houston, TX 77204-6015




Curriculum Vitae

PubMed Bibliography

Google Scholar Profile


Interdisciplinary Health Research

I believe that the most important questions about health and wellness cannot be investigated adequately by a single discipline or academic department. I have collaborated on research studies, published scientific papers, presentations, and grants and grant proposals with more than 100 investigators from many different institutions, scientific disciplines, and health professions. See my PubMed or Google Scholar profiles to see the scope of work and collaborators.

Specific areas of interest:

·        Evaluating and explaining individual variation in health outcomes and health-related quality of life.

·        Contextual effects: how characteristics of the social and physical environments and systems affect health.

·        Physical activity, exercise, anthropometry, obesity, surgery & rehabilitation outcomes, health and wellness, quality of life.


O’Connor Lab Group

·        Mitzi Laughlin, PhD: Research Assistant Professor

·        Jessica Mills, MHR: Business Administrator

·        Dana Ortega, MS: Project Manager

·        Andria Stevens, MPH: Researcher

·        Camila Kochi, MPH: Researcher

Doctoral Students:

·        Allen Hallett: Systems approaches to evaluate and explain individual, environmental, and sociopolitical factors affecting public health quality.

·        Che-young (Christine) Lee: Evaluating and explaining causes and prevention of obesity, investigating individual response variability to genetics, physiological factors, and physical activity.

·        Nate Parker (co-advisor with Rebecca E. Lee, PhD): Environmental influences on physical activity and designing physical activity promotion programs.

·        Xue Zhao: Focus on evaluating physical performance and health outcomes, and promoting physical activity and obesity control.

Research Assistants:

·        Lauren Gulley (graduate student)

·        Recep Ozdemir (graduate student)

·        Sandra Wang (undergraduate Honors thesis student)

I also serve on dissertation committees for PhD students from other universities and work with orthopedic surgery residents and fellows from the University of Texas Medical School–Houston.


Current Externally Funded Research Projects

As Principal Investigator I have been awarded more than $5.7 million in external research funding since 2007 (6 awards), and I have participated as a co-investigator in research funded by an additional $5.7 million in external awards (12 awards) in that time. Sponsoring agencies have included NIH, CDC, NASA, U.S. Department of Education, and private and public foundations.

Current active projects include:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO)

·        Principal Investigator: Best Evaluation Tools and Techniques for Effective Recommedations for Policies (BETTER Policies): ACA Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration – Evaluation Center (Component B). October 2011 - September 2015.

Joe W. King Orthopedic Institute

·        Principal Investigator: Clinical and Translational Methods and Outcomes in Orthopedic Surgery (Renewal 2). December 2014 - November 2017 (this project has been continuously funded since 2007). (co-Principal Investigator Mitzi Laughlin)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

·        Co-Investigator: Training Interventions and Genetic Exercise Response (TIGER). June 2010 - May 2015. (Principal Investigator Molly Bray)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

·        Biostatistician: Air Barrier System for the Prevention of Prosthesis-related Infections (SBIR Phase IIb). August 2010 to July 2017. (Principal Investigator Sean Self)

U.S. Department of Education – National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitaion Research (NIDRR)

·        Co-Investigator: Development of a Virtual Reality Weight Management Intervention for Mobility Impaired Women (GoWoman). November 2012 to October 2015. (Principal Investigator Margaret Nosek)


Research Center Affiliations

Center for Drug and Social Policy Research (UH)

Child & Family Center for Innovative Research (UH)

Laboratory of Integrated Physiology (UH)

Texas Obesity Research Center (UH)


Academic Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Health & Human Performance


 Get moving!”

       —Andrew S. “Tony” Jackson